Wanted (2008) Poster

(2008)

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  • Wanted is loosely based on a comic book miniseries of the same name by Scottish graphic novelist Mark Millar, with art by J.G. Jones, published in 2003 and 2004 by Top Cow as part of Millar's creator-owned line known as Millarworld. American screenwriting partners, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, adapted the comics into the original screenplay, which was revised in part by screenwriters Chris Morgan and Dean Georgaris.

  • Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) and the Fox (Angelina Jolie) have made the transition to film largely unchanged, the only major differences being their appearance (Wesley being originally modeled on Eminem, and the Fox on Halle Berry). Wesley's boss, girlfriend and best friend are also largely unchanged. However, as the main plotline of the comic books (in which all of the main characters are actually supervillains modeled on DC characters) has been altered, many other characters were re-imagined or cut entirely from the film, examples being: (1) Dr. Solomon Seltzer (a short, bald super-scientist and friend to Wesley's father) becomes Sloan (Morgan Freeman); (2) Mr. Rictus (an evil, ghoul-faced murderer) becomes the assassin Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) and is also referenced in the film as an assassin killed by Cross; and (3) The Killer (famed assassin and Wesley's father, modeled after Tommy Lee Jones) becomes Mr. X (David O'Hara).

  • There are significant changes from the comic book.

    • Perhaps the most significant change is the underlying purpose of The Fraternity. In the comic, The Fraternity are a secret group of supervillains with an array of powers and they behave as supervillains would be expected to: committing crimes and killing people. In the movie The Fraternity is a secret guild of assassins who work to maintain order in the world by assassinating evil people. The film portrays them in a far more positive light than the book.


    • The book is far more vulgar than the movie and revels in pushing boundaries of taste in terms of violence and sexuality. In the book characters talk much more matter-of-factly about topics such as murder, rape, pedophilia, and bestiality.


    • The backstory of the film is entirely different from the book. In the comic a group of supervillains murdered all the superheroes and erased their existence from reality. In the film a group of medieval weavers-turned-assassins founds the Fraternity to maintain order.


    • Most of the characters were wholly invented for the film. While Fox and Wesley make the transition largely unchanged Wesley's father is almost completely different from how he was portrayed in the book, Mr X, Sloan, The Russian, and the Gunsmith (Common) are complete inventions. The Repairman (Marc Warren) is an expansion of an unnamed character who appears in a few panels in the book, and The Butcher (Dato Bakhtadze) is created from a scene in the book where Wesley himself is sent to work in a slaughterhouse to help desensitize him.


    • The plot is dramatically changed. While the introduction and Wesley's training are very similar the plot of the comic involves intrigue between different factions of super villains while the film deals with the efforts to apprehend one rogue assassin. In addition the film focuses far more on Wesley's quest to avenge his father. While the book version of Wesley is interested in knowing who killed his father it is not a driving aspect of his character.


    • Scenes of Wesley's training are greatly expanded in the film.


    • The film version of Wesley is considerably nicer and more sympathetic than the comic version.


    • The film includes far more moral conflict about the nature of what The Fraternity does than the comic book.

  • Derek Haas and Michael Brandt have already been hired to write by Universal, but the sequel has been in development hell for the since 2010 or so.

  • The song is called "The Little Things", and is sung by the film's composer, Danny Elfman.

  • No, but there are a couple of interesting shots that give clues about the development of the plot. One of them is when Wesley leaves his apartment early in the film, he tries to straighten a sign on a pole warning about rats. That sign is posted over another one reading "Your fathers's". Following the scene, the camera focuses on the apartment where it's later revealed that this is where his real father lived, thus, composing the message: "Your father's apartment". The scenes with the Russian also give clues, since he seems to be the only true friend among the weavers. He ultimately gives Wesley the key to achieve his father's objective by showing him about the combination of peanut butter and plastic explosives, and saying "imagine if you had a thousand".

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